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Saturday, November 24, 2007

Church Giggles

Blessed are those who were not subject to a childhood in the church, for they shall be relatively free of guilt and less likely to become a doormat. But for those of us who grew up going to church, we have experienced a bliss very few come to know. We have experienced church giggles.

The act of suppressing your laughter in church is exhausting and exhilarating. It is one of the best ab workouts around. Church giggles usually begin innocently enough. They can be set off by your best friend's growling stomach. By the way, I'm talking about your best friend at church - not your real best friend. Your real best friend didn't go to church and he always got you into so much trouble at school and gave you your first joint and taught you how to get drunk, like that didn't come naturally, and then you ended up sleeping together and it just got weird.

Anyway - back to church...

So maybe your best friend's stomach is growling during the sermon, or maybe the preacher says something about how Jesus loved his Peter so much, and you just start giggling. You stifle it, but that only makes the laughter harder to suppress. Your shoulders shake, and you can feel the whole pew vibrating. People start to glance over at you. At that point they start glaring, or worse, they smile and that makes you want to laugh even more.

Usually church giggles are shared by two or more people. It is harder to get the church giggles by yourself because the contagiousness is intrinsic to what makes church giggles so funny. Knowing that your friend is hurting from stifling laughter makes you want to laugh. You can try coughing to release some of the pressure building up inside of you, but I would advise against that. Coughing may actually be too much of a release and can easily become a full on laughing fit. At that point your only option will be to fake a terrible coughing fit and run out of the sanctuary, causing a big scene and insuring a scolding by your mother after church.

I don't miss the hours of sermons I sat through growing up, but I sure do miss church giggles.

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